Regardless of how strong your introduction started, your best efforts will be eroded without a strong finish. When introducing yourself, how you exit introductions might be the last thing a new colleague remembers about you, so make sure you have a strong finish.
A strong introduction is one of the keys to successfully introducing yourself to a colleague. It’s my hope to shift mindsets from believing it’s unimportant to the belief that it’s a critical behavior to embrace in today’s fast-paced and frenetic organizations.
Approaching others or being receptive to the advance of others, great eye contact, and a confident handshake are key components to a strong start. These behaviors illustrate that you are comfortable and skilled at introducing yourself. In real time, your strong start will last from five to seven seconds. Don’t underestimate, however, the difference that a few seconds can make when introducing yourself effectively.
The frequency and pace of change in your organization, the exponential growth of your professional transparency, your lack of energy to connect with others while employed (visibility), and your lack of energy regarding your performance assessment (value), all create professional risks for you. With increased turbulence in your organization resulting in roles, responsibilities, and relationships changing with great frequency, your ability to benefit from the development of organic relationships (ones that grow naturally over time) or purposeful relationships (ones that you proactively create with a goal in mind) is being seriously eroded.
Frequency of change refers to how often it occurs. There was a time when organizations were proud of their stability and consistency. Acquisitions were infrequent, and words like “right-sizing” and “down-sizing” were not in the dictionary. Your job description had not changed for years.
Growing organizations require value to be more tangible, and the contribution of business value by employees to be broader. While individual value is critically important to an organization’s performance, it is not the type of value that will sustain an organization. Business value tied to internal financial drivers reflects a more strategic perspective that can have a positive impact. Today, your organization needs as many employees as possible focused on creating value through internal financial drivers.
Deep within the heart of your organization’s cubicle farm, you and your heads-down colleagues are working hard to stay employed. Our metric-based culture has created generations of individuals who believe that good performance alone ensures job security. They still haven’t figured out the dirty little secret behind value creation.
In today’s “get-it-done-yesterday” business environments, tenure is shortening and relationships are becoming shallower. It’s no longer enough when an employee exceeds expectations. Herminia Ibarra, the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Professor of Organizational Behavior at Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD), reflected on this topic in a recent Wall Street Journal article. “With competition fierce and the business climate changing rapidly, companies are telling their leaders that it’s no longer enough to deliver results in their individual departments, or over the short-term.”
Every once in a while, you will hear CEOs of organizations declare “At Acme Products, we are like a family!” I am not exactly sure what a CEO means when she describes her company as a family.
Perhaps there was a time when organizations were familial. Your grandparents may reminisce about the “good old days” when employees were treated like family. In the not-too-distant past, family-like environments naturally flourished since tenures were longer and relationships were deeper. Doing your job well nearly guaranteed of lifetime employment. However, organizations today are not like a family, regardless of what your well-intentioned CEO tells you.